LEAP III Ex-Post Evaluation of USAID/Zambia’s PROFIT+

  • Date Posted: July 26, 2021
  • Authors: Liesl Kim
  • Organizations: Integra Government Services International LLC
  • Document Types: Evaluation
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Zambia requested the Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis III project (LEAP III) to conduct an ex-post evaluation of the Production, Finance, and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+) project, which was implemented from 2012 to 2017. The objective of PROFIT+ was to improve productivity, expand trade, and increase investments by developing functional market systems in rural areas. During the first half of PROFIT+, the project focused primarily on the Demonstration-Host Farmer (DHF) model, where lead farmers promoted awareness about improved agricultural practices. Mid-way through the project, PROFIT+ adjusted the project’s focus to training and supporting DHFs to establish Community Agro-Dealerships (CADs). In addition to shifts in project activities, PROFIT+ also changed management and staffing considerably throughout its lifecycle.

The objectives of the evaluation are to identify: 1) key successes and challenges of PROFIT+ and critical processes/activities that enabled or contributed to these; 2) the merits and shortcomings of PROFIT+, as it directly relates to the CAD model and the Innovation, Investment, and Partnership (IIP) Fund; and 3) why activities have or have not continued beyond the life of project. USAID/Zambia provided five evaluation questions, which specifically focuses on sustainability and lessons learned of the project. The evaluation team utilized a mixed methods approach, combining a mix of qualitative key informant interviews (KIIs), focus group discussions (FGDs), desk research and a quantitative survey to assess the successes, challenges, and sustainability of the CADs and the IIP Fund established under PROFIT+. It should be noted that, at the direction of USAID/Zambia, this evaluation is not conducted as a traditional performance evaluation to assess whether the overall targets of the project were met, but rather an assessment of the effectiveness and sustainability of the project.